40 Days and 40 Nights of Fragrance Notes: Olfactory Oddities
Etat Libre D'Orange is a niche house that has created fragrances that smell like blood or pumpkin pie. The names can be naughty, shocking or witty. I wear "Putain des Palaces" aka Hotel Slut. The inspirations range from anarchy to 1970's gigolos. You have to marvel at the creative mixes of notes. Who knew that jasmine could smell lovely with cigarettes? Etienne de Swardt did.
A great description of Secretions comes from Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez's Perfumes The Guide. Mr Turin writes "It is, however, an elegant fresh floral in the manner of Parfums de Nicolai Odalisque, given a demonic twist by a stupendous bilge note, which, my vibrational nose tells me, can only be a nitrile. I remember years ago mounting an impassioned defense of a forgotten Quest material called Marenil,which smelled just like that: oily, metallic, entirely wrong, and begging to be used intelligently. I'm delighted to see it was possible."
(For the fragonerds...quote from page 318)
Ormonde Jayne's Ormonde Woman is one of my all time favorite fragrances. There is just something about Ormonde. It is glamorous. Haunting. Twisted. One of the listed notes is Black Hemlock. I never get a musty note. It is just a heavenly mix of woods and pine needles.
Ink smells thick, cool and metallic.
Comme des Garçons 2 was created to capture the idea of black ink. The fragrance is a rose incense with this shadowy layer of sumi ink. I could not stop smelling it at Barneys in NYC. I passed on a purchase due to being distracted by Frederic Malles. Carnal Flower always makes me lose my focus and train of thought.
I have not had the pleasure of sniffing Byredo's M/M Ink. This is said to be a stunner. The ink note plays the main character in the fragrance. Lalique's Encre Noire is supposed to smell like India ink. It also housed in a black bottle that looks like an inkwell.
I thought it would be easy to describe Cannabis. I am struggling with this task at 11pm. I would say that the cannabis note can be very pungent. It smells herbal. Sage-like. Like burnt popcorn.
Other Cannabis Fragrances:
Fresh Cannabis Santal
Strange Invisible Perfumes Vaccances
Nasomatto Black Afgano
Demeter Cannabis Flower
Esteban Paris Bois Velours
According to wikipedia, Absinthe is "an anise-flavoured spirit derived from herbs, including the flowers and leaves of the herb Artemisia absinthium, commonly referred to as "grande wormwood", together with green anise and sweet fennel". The drink is commonly referred as "the green fairy". I have always wanted to try absinthe. It looks dangerous and twisted. If it was good enough for Rimbaud...then I should take a sip.
Absinthe smells like black licorice with a touch of ginger.
Gobin Daude Biche dans l'Absinthe was the most exquisite absinthe fragrance. It had this hay note that just slayed me. It also had a cumin note that prevented me from ever caving on a bottle. Cumin and me...are not friends.
Other Absinthe Fragrances:
L'Artisan Fou d'Absinthe
Serge Lutens Douce Amere
Kilian A Taste of Heaven
John Varvatos Vintage
Cashmeran is a synthetic material. It smells like wet cement. Musky-like.
It is showcased in Frederic Malle's Dans tes Bras. I love the "difficult to wear" Malle fragrances. Une Fleur de Cassie is one of my favorites.
Other Cashmeran Fragrances:
Theirry Mugler Alien
Let us know what odd note always makes your heart race in the comments!
Graphic Credit: Melanie Parker
Disclosure: All products reviewed were purchased or sniffed by the reviewer
The Kilian sample vial was provided by Bergdorf Goodman
Quote: Luca Turin in Perfumes The Guide
By Tania Sanchez and Luca Turin